Tim Tebow wanted to find an engagement ring as "flawless" as his soon-to-be wife Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters

By Kaitlyn Frey and Reported by Steve Helling
January 11, 2019 10:11 AM

When it came to finding the perfect engagement ring to propose to girlfriend Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, former NFL pro Tim Tebow wanted something just as special as his soon-to-be wife.

“This ring is internally flawless — just like you,” Tebow, 31, said as he slipped the jaw-dropping 7.25-carat solitaire ring on Nel-Peters’ finger as she said yes.

Tebow purchased the diamond sparkler a month before proposing, from a broker who flew into Jacksonville with several different gems for him to choose from.

Kelly Braman Photography

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The couple strolled along the property, and stopped next to a small lake, where Tebow had installed an arbor and a specially made bench that was engraved with the date the couple first met.

Kelly Braman Photography

“I actually wasn’t really nervous,” Tebow told PEOPLE. “I was excited. I wanted everything to be perfect and to go smoothly. But I wasn’t nervous to actually ask her.”

After Nel-Peters, 23, said “yes,” Tebow surprised her when South African singer Matthew Mole stepped out from behind a hay bale and serenaded the couple with “The Wedding Song” — one of their favorite songs.

Kelly Braman Photography

“Any dreams I’ve ever had, you’ve exceeded them all! I love you and I can’t wait to spend forever with you!” the bride-to-be wrote on Instagram after the exciting news was announced.

Tebow echoed her sentiment writing, “Thank you for saying YES and making me the happiest man in the world. You’re the love of my life, and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you.”

Kelly Braman Photography

To make the moment extra-special, Tebow secretly flew in Nel-Peters’ family and closest friends from South Africa to Florida to witness the engagement. Their parents, siblings and friends watched the proposal while hiding in the distance, and then came out of hiding to shock the former Miss Universe, who had no idea they had flown halfway around the globe to attend the engagement party.

Tebow told PEOPLE that he’s looking forward to planning the wedding. “I’m sure she’s got some great ideas,” he said. “It’s going to be really exciting, and I can’t wait.”

Nel-Peters added: “I’m so excited for the wedding, and I can’t wait to spend forever with Tim.”— with reporting by Steve Helling